Bexhill students given insurer tour through education project

(L-R) Bexhill Academy student Max, Bexhill Academy's Trudy Hillman, Hastings Direct's Gary Chalmers, pupil Nikayla, Hastings' chief executive Gary Hoffman, student Lucy, Hastings' Jason Mitchell and Aoife Diamond
(L-R) Bexhill Academy student Max, Bexhill Academy's Trudy Hillman, Hastings Direct's Gary Chalmers, pupil Nikayla, Hastings' chief executive Gary Hoffman, student Lucy, Hastings' Jason Mitchell and Aoife Diamond
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Secondary school students were given a tour of Bexhill’s largest employer as part of a education and business initiative.

Year nine pupils from Bexhill Academy were received a valuable insight into the business world during a visit to Hastings Direct through the Be the Change programme.

The students talking to one of Hastings Direct's marketing team

The students talking to one of Hastings Direct's marketing team

The project aims to inspire the young adults by giving them life skills and mentoring to improve behaviour at school, and the visit to Conquest House was the latest instalment.

Volunteers from the insurance company have been the pupils’ mentors and they met up with the students at the school the following day which volunteer Robin Sewell said was ‘really insightful’.

“They told me that they felt the year group has positively changed and one student felt that the programme had made a big impact on her and improved her confidence so much so, she’s now able to speak to large groups – something she was too frightened to do before.All my students said they’d made new friends from the programme – which is a real positive of the overall initiative,” he said.

The 14-year-olds were welcomed by Hastings Direct chief executive Gary Hoffman and given an overview of the company.

Business volunteer Sue Monopoli with one of the Bexhill Academy students

Business volunteer Sue Monopoli with one of the Bexhill Academy students

Guided around by the business volunteers, the students visited many departments including digital and marketing, claims, customer services finance and Hastings Direct’s eatery, Harry’s Bar.

The business volunteers went on and visited the students at the academy the next day to catch up and discuss their feelings about the course and their own personal development.

Most pupils said they felt a ‘definite improvement’ in the areas they wanted to improve, such as confidence, respect and improving relationships.

Be The Change is sponsored by Hastings Direct and is delivered by LoveLocalJobs.com and social enterprise Humanutopia.

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